Sunday, 16 November 2008


With market security directed towards the Asian economy Latin American countries have embarked on a series of megaprojects in order to reach raw materials to the Pacific. One of these is the Trans-Oceanic Highway in Southern Peru, connecting Brazil –China’s main soya exporter– to the Pacific. The highway however presents a double-edged sword exposing areas of the Amazon previously closed to large-scale agriculture and corporate energy interests.

Worse still the highway is likely to aggravate the problems caused by informal gold mining and illegal logging. This in the region of Madre de Dios containing 17% of the World’s plant species, also home to some of the World's last remaining indigenous peoples living in voluntary isolation.

Construction is well under way, with only the last remaining engineering feat, the Billinghurst Bridge, delaying its near completion. The highway will link to an already existing asphalted Brazilian network reaching the Atlantic. So far, the general public and national opinion is in favour of the construction and road improvement who, influenced by the government’s propaganda, consider that the highway will bring huge economical benefits. However similar experiences in Brazil of asphalted roads cutting through the Amazon show that neighbouring protected areas have been violently degraded as an affect. Other than tourism –generally run by foreigners¬– no programs have been made to create about an alternative commerce for the region. In the absence of public mechanisms to mitigate the socio-environmental impacts indigenous peoples of the area have become the sole watchmen of the protective norms supposedly established by the state.

The reality is of course much starker.
Since the Peruvian Government’s announcement in 2003 that it would convert a connection of dirt roads into a modern highway, a new wave of immigrants from various impoverished Andean regions in Southern Peru have arrived enchanted by gold and other potentially lucrative findings. Over 200 people are said to migrate per day to the regional capital called Puerto Maldonado. Already an unbridled anarchic rush is taking place. Studies suggest that the exploitations will be further facilitated by the road improvements, incrementing contamination, the most serious of which being mercury poisoning through river afluents. Gold exploitation, as it stands, already amounts to 50% of the gross regional product.

Similarly the hugely sought after mahogany and rare timber market will aided by the highway, further allowing illegal loggers to enter the lands of voluntarily isolated Indians. Following his trumpeted free trade agreements Peruvian President Alan Garcia recently proposed to open up the Bahuaja-Sonene National Park of Madre de Dios, located near the Brazilian border to gas exploitation. The government has given a green light to foreign investment in the region.

Owing to its historical isolation Madre de Dios has been exposed to modernity’s whims, where by, by not being able to offer anything sustainable to the regional or international markets informality, illegality and subsequently wide deforestation will reign supreme. The Peruvian government out of inaction and supposed ‘development’ has created an unfettered playground for oil, gas, mining and logging interests.

Araseire family, who live next to the highway. Purely for the photo they dressed in their 'traditional' attire. This is no longer what they usually wear, as modernity and generally their new and more numerous Andean neighbours mock their traditions.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Friday, 24 October 2008


Pictures taken in the 80s by Walter Chiara and Jaime Rázuri.

It is said that in the Univeristy of San Marcos there is still a mural that was left untouched, showing 'Gonzalo' in all his grandeur. Who you calling a pedagogue?

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Friday, 17 October 2008

Poli IV

Made by Yoshua Okon. Paying Mexican cops to act out for the camera. This guy here is all up for playing out his badman fantasy, holding his balls, waving his batton. Well spent $20.

Apoohcalypse Now

Made by Mexican artist Artemio, currently doing a residency here in Lima. In most of his work he appropriates from hollywood movies flipsiding the context. In this one here you have Marlon Brando's famous discourse from the end of Apocalypse Now eirily played out by Winnie the Pooh. This edit is not the cleanest he now shows on gallery circuits and sadly doesn't give it justice.

Artemio has 53 souls. He almost got mine. Some he has bought for vodkas, on others he's folked out $100. Once he got a call from a mother demanding his son's soul back. He said "ok, but you'll have to deal yours to get it back." She lost. He says the more souls you have the more you win.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Passive Domination - China in Latin America


Washington does not see Chinese economic penetration of Latin America as inherently antithetical to American interests, though there is now genuine concern over how the accelerating interactions might lead to military or strategic cooperation at a later stage.

The deployment of Chinese peacekeepers in Haiti—the first in the Western Hemisphere—has particularly inflamed these anxieties. Beijing has already attempted to sell arms to Venezuela. The Chinese government also reportedly conducts intelligence activities in Latin America through visitors, students, and front companies, and there are concerns about the PRC using Cuba as a listening post to monitor developments in the United States.

Given the rapid expansion of trade, commercial, and investment ties between the countries of the region and China, it is important to understand Beijing’s motivations. The Chinese regime is engaged in a prolonged commitment to Latin America. The principal and overriding goal is access to the rich reserves of foodstuffs, minerals, and energy resources. Differing to how the Europeans once traded, limiting commerce with other nations during the 18th and 19th century, the US General predicate of free-trade-open-to-all could now come to haunt them as the Chinese begin to beat them in their own game of import and export.

Latin America is clearly at a rush to build infrastructure to suit not only China but the whole of Asia – for the past ten years Asia’s growth has been growing at a steady 10% compared to Europe’s 3%. Similarly Latin Americans are told persuasively that Red China and other success stories such as Vietnam are the land of the triumphant peasant revolution.

Rivalry with Taiwan plays into China’s courting of Latin American countries, with its continuing political objective is to isolate the island. China actively will court those 12 countries in this Hemisphere that recognize Taiwan diplomatically. Against this backdrop, conservative voices in Washington argue that the United States has a vital interest in aiding Taiwan in maintaining its alliances in Central America and the Caribbean, if only to check the expansion of Beijing’s geopolitical reach.

Funny and interesting cases of China courting Latin American countries -

GRENADA - And though in 2003 Grenadian Prime Minister Keith Mitchell said that maintaining ties with Taiwan is “practical,” by 2005 he had changed his tune, signing a joint communiqué declaring support for the “One China” policy. In exchange for ending this 15-year relationship with Taiwan, Grenada received support from China for rebuilding and expanding its national stadium for the 2007 Cricket World Cup; the construction of 2,000 housing units; new hospital facilities; agricultural support; a $6 million grant to complete projects previously financed by Taiwan; and an additional $1 million scholarship fund. In February 2007, Grenada committed one of its most grievous errors in recent memory when officials accidentally played the Taiwanese national anthem at the inauguration of a new national stadium built by China at a cost of $40 million. Prime Minister Keith Mitchell watched in horror as the planned moment of triumph descended into an unmitigated diplomatic fiasco, and he quickly ordered an investigation into the matter, saying that “it has saddened and ached my heart.” Other Caribbean countries were both amused and troubled by the incident, which they viewed as a cautionary tale that reflected the region’s delicate balancing act.

HAITI - The PRC contributed 125 riot police to MINUSTAH, the Brazilian-led UN stabilization the fletcher forum of world affairs force deployed in Haiti, and then subsequently leveraged its permanent member status on the Security Council to prevent Taiwanese Premier Su Tseng-chang from attending the inauguration of Rene Préval in May 2006. Since MINUSTAH is currently the principal force preventing a complete disintegration of the security situation in Port-au-Prince, the Haitian government had no choice but to bend to Beijing’s will. Haiti, the poorest and most vulnerable nation in the Western Hemisphere, is thus caught in a war of attrition between China and Taiwan that threatens to undermine international efforts to bring the country back from the brink of state failure.

PARAGUAY - As the sole Taiwanese ally in South America, Paraguay is another possible candidate for withdrawal of support. Paraguay’s membership in Mercosur prevents it from signing a free-trade agreement with Taiwan without approval from all other Mercosur members, which presents a serious obstacle to the deepening of bilateral trade. Even without formal diplomatic ties, China already buys a good proportion of Paraguay’s soy crop while supplying about one-fourth of its imports, so normalized relations would undoubtedly bring significant trade benefits. Paraguayan recognition of Taiwan is in many respects a “holdover from the rabidly anti-communist Stroessner regime.” Given that Stroessner’s dictatorship has been out of office since 1989, officials in Asunción may just decide at some point that the time has come to eliminate this relic of a policy.

PANAMA - Speculation surrounding potential “swing states” also tends to center on Panama, one of the most strategically significant countries in Central America, where President Martín Torrijos invited Beijing to aid in the expansion of the Panama Canal. Panama’s voters approved a referendum on this massive infrastructure project last October, which will surely create new economic openings for Chinese construction companies. Relations between Taipei and Panama had cooled visibly when Torrijos assumed office; Torrijos turned down Chen’s request to visit Panama during a trip to Latin America in 2005. Much has also been made of the fact that Hutchinson-Whampoa, a Hong Kong-based Chinese shipping company with historically close affiliations with the China’s People’s Liberation Army, already holds a 50-year lease on management of key port facilities at both ends of the canal. Panama is a significant leader in the region, so if the Torrijos government arrives at the conclusion that the benefits of a relationship with Beijing are just too overwhelming to ignore, the rest of the isthmus may well follow suit.

The links suggesting Hutchinson-Whampoa as a front company for Red China in Latin America are tenuous. The company deals in import and exports for many countries the world over. In response to fears the company replied, "We have no pilots. We have no tugs. We have no boats. We have no ships. We have no containers. All we have is cranes." Following Hutchinson’s Bahamas port takeover – it was noted that Hutchison employs about 500 Bahamians. Only five managers are not Bahamians, mostly British nationals. None are Chinese.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Billy Ocean - Loverboy

Embedded with Narcos

Living in city of Culiacán is a dangerous past time; almost everybody is under the shadow of the Narco. A city of over half-million, most of its people are indirectly involved with the business the drug-money brings. Behind what appear to be flourishing high streets with expensive cars is a city at war with almost a hundred murders a month.

Impotent in the face of brutal violence, the government has made few if any advances. Mexico now surpasses Colombia in its levels of drug violence, and has overtaken Iraq in its number of kidnappings. This year alone 3,000 people have been killed.

Culiacán is home to the blood-thirsty Sinaloa cartel, whose ambitions and tenticles lie far beyond the country’s borders. Historically, Sinaloa began as the area where opium poppies were grown used for morphine for the American soldiers in the 2nd World War. This was then substituted for the American underground market, from where the cartels grew out of the impunity the state gave them.

Javier Valdez, 41, works for the weekly local newspaper called Rio Doce. Founded by himself and three other journalists the newspaper almost exclusively covers the trafficking phenomenon. Mexico is considered to be the most dangerous Latin American country in which to be a journalist; 30 reporters have died or disappeared in Mexico since 2000. Though as yet no worker at Rio Doce has died few people knock on the door looking for work. Similarly no company is willing to sponsor them for fear of reprisals.

Based in Culiacán’s city centre, Valdez witnesses and covers the violence on a daily basis. “You no longer need to be a Narco for it to effect you. The Narco is part of our daily lives. The people themselves have abandoned the street. From the bench of your house, to the your neighbour’s porch, there is now a vacuum. Here the risk is staying alive, not of being a Narco or a gunman.”

Javier says he even has friends that are Narcos. Once seen as Robin Hood figures the Narcos that once constructed schools and gave medicines to the poor, now look for survival within a highly lucrative, competitive and violent market. Yet as long as Javier does not cross certain codes he will continue to write his columns. Through them he attempts to cover the twisted universe created by Mexican gangland culture, contrasting it with everyday life and the government’s corruption and ill equipped way of managing the escalating violence. His real tale is one of constant treading on thin ice, creatively telling stories, omitting the names and facts that could prejudice his life or that of others.

Married with two children aged 14 and 10, his wife often pleas for them to move abroad. Violence is now so well spread around the country, he says, there wouldn’t be anywhere that would be safe. Still, until the newspaper does finally fall, Javier will keep on writing.

Extract from article - CARROS LUJOSOS

Sabía que lo iban a matar: la balanza se movía para un lado, el contrario, y a los que tanto había golpeado les tocaba responder, y a él perder.

Veinte años en la Policía. Ahora de comandante. Casi en su totalidad al servicio del director y éste a las órdenes del “jefe”, “el patrón”, el de los maletines de billetes y de los negocios.

Luchas intestinas le quitaron terreno y convirtieron las calles en una guerra en la que primero caen los pistoleros.

Y él era pistolero. Decían que lo usaban para resolver problemas. Más bien los alimentaba y multiplicaba: los muertos siempre traen muertos, pero no se sabe cuándo ni cuántos.

Duro, cabrón. Lo mandaban a comunidades pequeñas, aparentemente insignificantes, pero de importancia para el movimiento y el teje y maneje.

Díganle que vaya, que lo arregle. Era la orden. Y él llegaba y pum, limpiaba.

for more

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Adventists, Rivers and Tribe Separations

photo by Natalia Ipince

Along the basin of the river Negauche, that later joins with the Nazarategui to form the river Pichis, live an Anshaninka community called the New Nevati. Not many schools exist in the area - particularly secondary schools - so the children have to walk and sometimes paddle for up five hours per day. When the summer months come, the dry season commences and rivers retreat and dry up. Beaches appear with pristine sands much closer to the schools. Half of the community migrates to the beaches whilst the rest –mostly men- stay with their farms.

The first colonists to arrive in the area were Adventists, who founded the school. Adventists preaching the end of the world. Most Nevati stayed with them, abiding by their strict customs, forcing them to cover themselves up, prohibiting them from playing drums, or eating animals dictated outside of the Bible Leviticus 11, or of drinking Masato, a fermented drink made of saliva that remains to this day a hugely important social tradition to all Ashaninka. Some Nevati fled, now New Nevati, though after a couple of years reluctantly decided they would still send their children to the school in order to educate them. In 1978 an earthquake further enhanced the fear of impending Armageddon from where more and more Nevati were converted. Years went past and nothing happened. They were waiting for Christ but he never arrived. The Nevati started questioning themselves. They also started questioning the Adventists. Finally the Adventists left.

To this day apart from the school the Nevati stay divided. Thanks be to God.

The Trials and Tribulations of Tiny Yet Immensely Rich African Country

Before 1996, Equatorial Guinea, a tiny ex-Spanish colony of just over one million people, wedged between Gabon and Cameroon, was in complete and utter shambles. Until that was, oil was found. It has since quietly become sub-Saharan Africa's third-largest oil exporter, after Nigeria and Angola.

BP reported in 2007 that Equatorial Guinea's output was estimated at 363,000 barrels a day - five times more than a decade ago. The BP report also states that Equatorial Guinea's proven oil reserves amount to just 0.1 percent of the global total only due to the lack of geological studies, because if such studies were to confirm what is suspected, the country's reserves could represent 10 percent of the total, due to the vast off-shore reserves in the Gulf of Guinea. Already there are comparisons with Kuwait.

As such oil companies the world over are at a scramble for a share of the dense gloopy pie. The United States is the biggest foreign investor in Equatorial Guinea's oil industry, having invested seven billion dollars this year alone.

But while the economy is enjoying fast economic growth driven by oil and gas sales, which represent 90 percent of the country's exports, the country is the victim of immense corruption, with President Obiang Nguema's family as the chief culprit - with alleged involvement of foreign companies and banks - All whilst the overwhelming majority of the population lives on less than a dollar a day.

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, has ruled the country with an iron fist for nearly 30 years. Amnesty International and other human rights groups, including the UN, cite brutal human rights violations, torture of political prisoners, unfair trials as well as deplorable prison conditions. His opposition also maintains that the series of failed coup d'états have been staged in order to empower the President to engage in campaigns of retribution. His control over the media is said to be absolute.
Rotting away in the ubiquitous Black Beach Prison sits ex-Eton boy Simon Mann, imprisoned until pardoned, after his failed coup in 2004. He claims there were many interested forces behind the failed coup.

In July 2003 the state radio station announced that Obiang was "the God of Equatorial Guinea" and that he now enjoyed the right to "decide to kill without having to give anyone an account and without going to hell". Despite his reputation as a brutal leader that rules with an iron hand, he is very soft-spoken and not prone to public displays of anger; he is extremely in control of his person and patient. His mode of dress is typical very businesslike and professional for official matter, and in public rallies he is relaxed and comfortable, wearing party colours and baseball caps. He does not really seem to be concerned about his image outside the country.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Tuesday, 2 September 2008


photos by lali cienfuegos


Surging world prices for synthetic fertilizers and organic foods are shifting attention to guano, an organic fertilizer once found in abundance on these islands off the coast of Peru. Once the cause of pacific wars, its rising demand is causing a dilemma for the government – on whether what is left should be sold abroad or kept in the country.

Two hours by boat, across from the port of Trujillo, in Northern Peru, men on the island of Guañape Norte begin their day raking and collect bird dung. They live secluded from the rest of the world, on different islands at time, under working conditions that have changed little from a hundred years ago. No women or alcohol are allowed on the island. They often they stay for four months at a time, returning home for a few days. For most of the year however they are here on the islands.

An exceptionally dry climate preserves the droppings built over years of up to one metre. Over the past decades industrialized fishing of anchovy as well as the effects of ‘El Niño’ have considerably lowered bird levels and hence the amount of collectable bird turd. While the bird population has climbed to 4 million from 3.2 million in the past two years, that figure still pales in comparison with the 60 million birds at the height of the first guano rush in the mid 19th Century.

Spirit of Truth

"Am on air doin Gad's will, whatta fack are you doin?"
this guy is like some burnt out genius

From LA - early 90's public access tv

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

RZA - domestic violence

straight down the line


My man Leo Todd's "end o the earth" pictures. Its kinda like he stabbed some fag ends up some beautiful pics, murdering them to distort their original sublime value all towards nihilism and smoke and drugs. I blame the alcohol. No I blame the earth and then his fags. The last picture is the bomb.

------ 10:58 AM
my daughter from the future came and visited my house yesterday. But I wasn’t in. She came three times wanting to leave her number. The first time she came she found Julia aka ghost girl and asked her about me. Julia rightfully gave her pointless information. The second time she tried to leave her number but left a blank postcard. Apparently she is beautiful, tall with long black hair. Third and with the final intention to leave her number - Julia even made her go to the shop to get a pen - with a glum face she then returned dejected and said, "no, lali only deals with idiots, better not.”

Monday, 25 August 2008


The idea being that as the poor are rejected and vilified they may as well be seen as the walking dead. This for our final image to be placed as a mosaic on the streets of central Lima.

words from kapuscinski -

i wrote in part for ethical reasons: above all because the poor tend to be silent. Poverty does not cry. Poverty has no voice. Poverty suffers, but suffers in silence. Poverty does not rebel. It rebels - the poor rebel only when they can hold on to some hope. Thus they rebel in the hope of something better. In most cases, they get mistaken: though the component of hope is fundamental for the reaction.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Edir Macedo - The Bishop

Aside from Opus Dei sex scandals, the dodgiest Christians today tend to be the Evangelists. Most notably in Brazil - the largest Catholic country in the world - where one million Catholics switch every year to Evangelical Protestant Churches, often considered fundamentalist sects. Fervent and hugely politicized, many of the 40 evangelist Pastors and Bishops in the Brazilian Parliament are often the ones most often cited in corruption scandals, further powered by the churches where followers are obliged to pay a tenth of their wages.

Edir Macedo is the name of “the bishop”. Seen as a dark figure in Rio, he has created an empire in telecommunications through his Church (Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus) seen almost all over Brazil as well as Africa, Asia, USA and Europe. He even has a Church in Brixton, London. In 1992 Macedo was imprisoned for accusations of charlatanism, and spent some days in prison. Today Edir Macedo is the owner of TV Record, one of Globo’s main rivals.

Thursday, 21 August 2008


This image is from a documentary. The Bullshit that sells. The Bullshit Vice rates. Or as they put it - This is the story of Hakani – whose name means "smile" – one of hundreds of children who are targeted for death each year amongst Brazil's 200 plus indigenous tribes. Physical or mental handicaps, being born a twin or triplet or being born out of wedlock – all are considered valid reasons for taking a child's life.
What is validity of anyone seeing this other than a sick anthropological fantasy for the wicked, savage and destitute?


Ive taken up capoeira like this guy here. All part of my 'earthy' new ways. Yes. Done four classes so far. Its like Im Screetch from Saved By The Bell. But its all good. My earthy way is coming along. Discipline innit.
And yes, its a dance not a fight.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008


Im hoping this will be the final image we put to the streets. Im not sure of its original point, we were always trying to be less blatant, less direct. So as not to think poverty means begging. Im hoping this beggar might be seen as a zombie. Not a nut. And perhaps interpret it as ridiculing poverty. Or beautifying it. Or being pointless. This man was actually a beggar who confronted my friend Alan when he snapped. ACTUALLY WE SHOULD TURN HIM INTO A ZOMBIE WITH HIS EYES WHITE.
Its difficult to insinuate some sort of other reality, the 'others' reality, without you yourself realizing you have been conditioned into thinking what will make and impression or not. I mean to separate from your viewer. Yes I should have lived in the barriada and seen it for myself. Yes I still want to give cameras to little kids and see what they will come up with. Still, on a billboard until the spaces are truly liberated and burnt, these pieces have to compete against the language of commerce, using perhaps the same tools they use. SENSATIONALISM. For the moment I am looking at what will work and will not. Composition is everything. Later we can become more abstract. The colours you see are more to do with the palette of the 'foodstuff' which is ready all chopped up.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008


Chacalon es la espumita que sale cuando orinas
Chacalon es tu vieja
Chacalon es la rima sin sonoridad
Chacalon es una mierda
Chacalon es la chica que te hace silbar
Chacalon es la flaca que te choteo ayer
Chacalon is a mutherfucker
Chacalon es un borracho sentado en una esquina
Chacalon es cristal
Chacalon son las luces de neon
Chacalon es un huevon
Chacalon es tu mano con la mia
Chacalon Escorpion
Chacalon es el falso arrugado, pero sigue ahi
Chacalon hace taxi
Chacalon es un pendejo
Chacalon es una pechuguita light
Chacalon es amor
Chacalon es la miel y las avejas
Chacalon habla frances
Chacalon Chacalon, is like chocolate rain but better
Chacalon es chileno
Chacalon es fiel
Chacalon es el condon que se rompio
Chacalon no existe
Chacalon sigue preso debajo del pentagonito
A Chacalon le dieron el papel de Guason, pero no hablaba ingles
Chacalon corre tempranito
Chacalon brilla
Chacalon es actor
Chacalon es un momento de flacidez
Chacalon es Cesar Gutierrez y Micaela Galvez
Chacalon is a Somali pirate
Chacalon is looking baffled
Chacalon, y tu como te llamas?

Monday, 18 August 2008


(click on the picture to see the head)

these pictures I took in the cemetry of Pisco. I had read that the bones were popping out from the graves. these kids showed me where they were.
that town was still in rubble a year from the 8 richter scale earthquake. Still Pisco was in bits. 80% of the buildings were destroyed. Chavez gave to one hundred lucky bingo winners lovely 1950s houses. While the rest thanks to the ever so generous punk-ass Garcia gave them tents, and pithy hand outs. Still as the mayor says you cant build a 300 year old city in the space of a year.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Pornomiseria 2

you have to see this. its brilliant, especially the end. a spoof on how journalists and documentary makers suck on the poverty issue and misery though as people barely responding to them. being as effective as the rest. Insuring the status quo. Looking for a way to win awards. Bloodsucking anthropological journalists. I love my job.

Filming Poverty - "pornomiseria"

"el oportunismo de los documentalistas deshonestos que hacen 'documentales socio-políticos' en el Tercer Mundo con el objeto de venderlos en Europa y ganar premios."

DIRECCION: Carlos Mayolo, Luis Ospina

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

César Nakasaki, Alberto Fujimori's lawyer

where's wally?

Friday, 8 August 2008

Amazon Tribes in Extinction

When Europeans arrived five centuries ago there were once seven million people living from the Jungles of the Amazon - accounting for two thousand indigenous tribes – of which today there are less than 400 tribes with two million individuals, about 5,000 of which still resist contact with ‘civilization’.

Extinction can be seen in several ways – real extinction (genocide) and the other, comes in the form of a generalised, but emphatic, cultural change. Soon enough the country’s main language is learnt and old values are swapped for t-shirts, baseball caps and coca cola.

In Peru, for example, there are differentiations in describing tribes particularly when noting those that live in voluntary isolation – which can be defined in two groups, those that have never been contacted and those that after initial contact then decided to hide in the jungle and lose contact from the rest of the world. The paradox goes that by investigating more about them we often place them in more danger. There have been accounts of missionaries, that having gone in good faith, to advise tribes about petroleum explorations have either got blow piped and killed or set off the flu that brought about the end of them.

The UN accounts there being a ‘cultural genocide’ made on the – Korubo from Brazil, the Tagaeri from Ecuador, the Ayoreo from Paraguay and the Ashaninkas, Mashco-Piros and Yaminahuas from Peru.

The case is often the same - Besieged by oil explorations, logging and tourism, the Tagaeri peoples from Ecuador voluntarily hide away from the rest of the world. They have made their presence felt with various deaths in their territory in the Yasuní National Park opposing any foreign filtration. Similarly the Mashco-Piro peoples from Peru – of 1100 – are affronted by a diverse amount of threats, created mainly by oil and gas drilling and exploration. The Ashaninkas, a fighting people, have gone up in arms to reclaim land that was lost and contaminated.

And so it continues – A hunter-gatherer tribe the Ayoreo were chased and exhibited as prized animals during the 1950’s, from where they hid further into the jungle. Near the end of the 90’s they attacked with bow and arrows workers trying to build routes through the jungle of Chaco. Situated near the Bolivian border their land has become even more limited by cattle farming and agriculture.

All Paraguayan natives, as like in most Amazonian countries, face the hounding from American-funded Evangelical missions. The missions are often charged with shaming and vilifying ancient practices, bringing an end to age-old values and dress codes. In the case of the Ayoreo they bitterly opposed conversion during the 80’s leading to violent confrontations....

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Household Slavery in Haiti

Wherever poverty, greed, corruption and government inaction coincide, people are traded as commodities - none more so than in Haiti where slavery takes on a quotidian form. Sometimes even modest aspirations -- to provide one's children with an education, for example -- can perpetuate slaving practices. In rural Haitian villages families are known to hand over one or more children to a ''courtier,'' or middleman. Although fear, shame, and regret pours out of the parents, the system in which unpaid child laborers are sent to middle-class homes as ''restaveks'' (Creole for ''rester avec,'' or stay with) is deeply entrenched in Haiti. Many of the children are physically and sexually abused. But with no jobs and no schools in the parents' calculus a question comes into focus: Maybe the middleman's promises of sending their children to school will prove true?

The custom reaches even further. Recently in Miami an ex-teacher was sentenced to 10-years in prison for the force labour of a Haitian minor. A Haitian herself, the case of Maude Paulin, has exposed a hitherto unseen network in human trafficking new to the United States.


the amazing depictions of poverty in its nooks and crannies, where smiles too exist and people subsist on the bare minimum.

The Ant Plague from Haiti

Dominican authorities are adopting all means to put a halt to a plague of devouring carnivorous ants at the doors of its border with Haiti. A spokesman said “all” instructions would be adopted, including revisions in food commerce.

The ants, whose scientific name is paratrechina longicornis Latreille have invaded 60.000 hectares in three departments of Haiti. The species is known to be ravenous and attacks cattle, game, chickens and any other thing unable to run.

Listin Diario - Santo Domingo:

Ha surgido un proyecto peligroso para los dominicanos, proveniente de la Organización de Estados Americanos que involucra a nuestra Cancillería y a la Junta Central Electoral, con la finalidad de auxiliar a Haití en la cedulación de los haitianos diseminados por todo el país. La vicecanciller Rosario Graciano dio declaraciones al LISTÍN aparecidas el 31 de julio. La noticia de esta cedulación ha tenido mala acogida entre los dominicanos. Una cosa es que por humanidad cedulen a familias enteras que durante años residan aquí, sentimentalmente ligadas a los dominicanos; otra cosa es que cedulen a los haitianos que al violar la frontera deambulan por el país. Entonces tendrían que cedular a millón y medio de ellos que están por todas partes. Este proyecto de la OEA, en caso de que así sea, sería sencillamente inaceptable, auxiliarían a Haití hundiendo a nuestro país. Estamos concientes de que en Haití se está pasando hambre, esto es tristemente trágico; lo que habría que hacer es tratar bajo todos los medios de lograr que la OEA se decidiera a ayudar a Haití en su tierra.


here again the image becomes a little diluted like a detail from an impressionist painting


the first trial out. Cut & Paste from various food-amassed images. A small vignette of life in poverty. The image is a bit washed with barely much detail. Which now means a small reviewing, in tones and image res.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Attempting to depict POVERTY

in the attempt of choosing the right image that 'objectively' depicts poverty, we fall for the same traps as usual. In the end we reflect, perhaps, more on ourselves than the subject.